Sr. Helena Burns
Sr. Helena Burns

BEAVERTON — Couples have a rare opportunity Sunday, March 12, when two experts on human and divine relationships give presentations at St. Cecilia Parish here. In afternoon and evening sessions sponsored by the Archdiocese of Portland Marriage and Family Life Office, Sister Helena Burns and Father Thomas Loya will discuss theology of the body. 

The collection of talks and teachings given by St. John Paul when he was pope; by applying Christian wisdom on love, sexuality and human dignity to modern life, the late pope began a movement that runs counter to free-love ideas and proposes a deeper happiness. 

“Pope St. John Paul II’s ‘theology of the body’ gives a beautiful lens through which to look at the contemporary issues involving true love, sexuality and the human person,” says Jason Kidd, director of the Marriage and Family Life Office. “From the birds and the bees to gender; embryonic stem-cell research to euthanasia; marriage to celibacy — these are just a few ways that the theology of the body connects the wisdom of our faith to the latest hot topics. The human person reflects God’s design for our happiness, and reveals the truth about the dignity of every human being and the reality that we were made to give and receive love.”

A forum called “Practical Wisdom from Theology of the Body” runs 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. Parishioners and parish staff can apply practical insights to family life, youth and young adult ministry, marriage preparation, children’s ministry and faith formation for adults, including those who wish to become Catholic.  

Sister Helena often speaks to adults and teens on media literacy, philosophy and theology of the body. She belongs to the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation of religious women dedicated to spreading God’s word through the media.

Father Loya is pastor of Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, Illinois. He is also the host of “Light of the East,” heard on Catholic radio stations.  That evening, starting at 5 p.m., couples are invited for a date night as Father Loya presents practical wisdom from theology of the body. The aim is to help couples strengthen their bonds, see the beauty of their relationships and take away practical insights.  

After the priest’s talk, participants will be given follow-up questions to discuss over a 6 p.m. dinner date at restaurants near St. Cecilia Church.

Visit famlife.archdpdx.org/theo-of-body or famlife.archdpdx.org/your-marriage-fully-alive for more details and online registration. With questions, contact Kidd at 503-233-8304 or [email protected]